Relying on Hastur for magic is the most common method, and it is the easiest and most expedient path to arcane power. Magic of this sort defiles, it draws energy from creatures near the spell caster. The more powerful the spell the larger the radius of the draw. It steals the energy from the smallest creatures leaving a field of dead bugs surrounding these spellcasters up to the largest creatures that find themselves within the sphere of their mighty spells. The siphoning of energy is painful to large creatures and can be deadly to small creatures.
- Hastur’s arcane casters (Life-Stealing Sorcerers) leave behind a circle of dead insects when casting spells. They do not hurt themselves when they cast their spells. When they cast a spell it creates an aura with a radius equal to the level of the spell (thus cantrips do not create this aura and only drain the energy of any miniscule creatures that happen to be touching the caster when the spell is cast). All creatures with hit points other than the caster in the aura take damage equal to the level of the spell. If there are no creatures in the aura, the spell is cast at disadvantage. This damage is always hit point damage and never affects vitality.
- Hastur’s divine casters instead generate an aura that gives them the effect of a Sanctuary spell that only affects Undead. However, if the priest attacks the undead the effect is broken vs. that undead until after a short rest. Similarly, once an undead saves vs. the effect it is unaffected by it again until after a short rest (when they must again make the save. Hastur’s divine casters are able to cast their cantrips freely, but when casting any other spell they must make a Wisdom save vs. a DC of 1+the spell level. On a failed save the cleric gains one level of exhaustion.
There is another process of using arcane magic that maintains the balance of energy, drawing energy from internal resources, but not so much that the caster is permanently harmed. Because there is no outward sign of magic, user of this sort can and often need to disguise their ‘illegal’ abilities that might easily earn the caster the ire of the powers that be. This form of magic is not dependent of Hastur and is often referred to as Life-Sustaining Sorcery.
- A sorcerer using life-sustaining magic draws power for their spells from themselves instead of others. When they cast a spell they do damage to themselves equal to the level of the spell. This is hit point damage only and never affects vitality. When they cast their spells, they do so with advantage.
And there exists another form of magic, an ancient practice of magic that is part ritual, part mystery and part religion. This magic relies upon a familiar (usually a cat). The magic is usually subtle in its effect, entrancing and binding creatures to the casters will, but this can vary.
- Warlock Style Magic
Clerics differ significantly in this setting. There are other Great Old Gods in the Wildlands other than the followers of the Yellow King, followers of these other Great Old Ones gain their powers by making pacts with such and their followers are considered cultists by the Yellow King. There are also those who chose to follow ‘Other Gods’; the Other Gods are considered ‘weak’ by followers of the Great Old Ones, but I haven’t determined exactly how this should manifest within the world … I am leaning towards them functioning like typical clerics with the exception that they can’t choose spells the directly cause harm to another.
- Clerics of Other Gods also gain the Sanctuary effect vs. Undead similar to the clerics of Hastur. If the cleric attacks an undead the effect is broken vs. that undead until after a short rest. Similarly, once an undead saves vs. the effect they are unaffected by it again until after a short rest (when they must again make the save). When casting spells, clerics of other gods may cast cantrips freely. All other spells require that the cleric make a Wisdom save vs. a DC of 8+spell level. On a failed save the cleric gains one level of exhaustion.
- Druids do not gain the sanctuary effect. Instead, when a druid is in the radius of a Life-Stealing Sorcerer’s drain effect, they disrupt the effect preventing the sorcerer from draining hit points and causing the sorcerer to suffer disadvantage on their spell casting. Druids cast spells with the same cost as clerics of Other Gods (save vs. exhaustion DC 8+spell level).
Benefit: All wizards can create potions and scrolls. At 6th level they can create other magic items if they can find/create a formula for the item.
If a potion mimics a spell effect, use the cost for a scroll otherwise use the following costs (minimum level): Common 100 gp (1st), Uncommon 500 gp (3rd), Rare 5000 gp (6th), Very Rare 50000 gp (11th), Legendary 500000 gp (17th).
A wizard can create as many scrolls, potions, etc. as they want during a day as long as they have the gold and access to materials to create the items in question to a maximum of 100 gp x their level worth of work per day.
A wizard can have an apprentice assisting which doesn’t reduce the cost, but does add their time to how much work can progress towards the creation of a scroll, potion, or other item. A wizard can only have as many apprentices assisting as they have charisma mod (minimum 1).
Cost: Wizards can cast cantrips but must have their focus to do so. They lose the ability to cast all other spells other than rituals and the spells granted by mastery and signature abilities. Any other spells and spell slots are effectively used for crafting magic items.
Note: When a typical wizard creates/gains their first spellbook it is assumed that the cost involved includes the cost of one scroll for each of the spells in that spellbook, i.e. a starting wizard starts with one scroll for each of their known spells without paying any extra costs.
Eldritch Knight – No default benefit or cost (but see wizard for guidelines if they have one)
Monk of the Four Elements – No default benefit or cost
Paladin – No default benefit or cost (but see cleric for guidelines if they have one)
Ranger – No default benefit or cost (but see druid for guidelines if they have one)
Arcane Trickster – No default benefit or cost (but see wizard for guidelines if they have one)
Benefit: They can build up their songs for greater effect. Each extra action after the first that they spend playing their song allows them to add one of the following effects in order: 1) cast at advantage, 2) double the range or duration, 3) reroll damage die (up to your cha mod dice), 4) give the target(s) disadvantage on their first saving throw.
Cost: All spells other than cantrips must be cast using an extra action to build up the musical magic. So if a spell normally takes 1 action, now it will take a minimum of 2 actions (and will be cast at advantage).